Hi reader! I'm Stephen LaMarca. You might know me from the IMTS Network series “Road Trippin' with Steve,” AMT's “Tech Trends Podcast,” or the weekly Tech Report e-newsletter. If you don't, stop what you're doing right now, go to AMTonline.org/resources, and subscribe to all the things. I'll wait.Welcome back! This is my brand spankin' new column on things in manufacturing technology that I think are cool enough to remark on – “LaMarkables,” if you will! I swear I didn't come up with the name. I would have called it “Talkin' Chip” or “Talkin' MAD Chip,” but I don't make the rules. I just get to have fun!Road Trippin' to Hybrid Manufacturing TechnologiesI probably shouldn't be telling you this, so keep it on the DL: A few weeks ago, I was in Texas, filming the second season of “Road Trippin' with Steve.” I'm sure it will be released for your viewing pleasure soon enough, but until then, let me tell you about one of my favorite stops on our trip from Austin to Dallas: Hybrid Manufacturing Technologies, where we were hosted by the illustrious Jason Jones. He and his team greeted my camera crew and me with the finest locally made donuts and Texas sausage kolaches (or klobasnek). I'm sure there will be some footage of me gracefully scarfing them down, but let's focus on Jason.Jason Jones is the CEO and co-founder of Hybrid Manufacturing Technologies, a company that makes implementing additive manufacturing into your production line about as easy as a tool change on a CNC. He's one of the smartest and most generous people in the industry. That's not hyperbole! Seriously, even if it's just you and him, he doesn't make you feel like you're the dumbest person in the room. (You are, though.) He did NOT pay me to say this – unless you count those donuts.The 7 Families of Additive ManufacturingI told you all that to tell you this: The greatest infographic in the manufacturing industry – nay, the greatest infographic, full stop, is the 7 Families of Additive Manufacturing graphic, which was, in fact, primarily authored by none other than your boy, Jason Jones! The 7 Families of Additive Manufacturing (or the 7 Families or 7FoAM – pronounced “seven foam”) has been in a constant state of evolution and, like the AM tech it documents – or the universe – expanding at an accelerating rate since its conception in 2015.The 7 Families started as a pet project of Jason's for the purpose of informing people, and it turned out so good that it was standardized by ISO/ASTM. Because it's worthy of being an official standard, it must follow the rules of maintaining standardization. Or in other words: It needs to regularly be kept up to date. Bob Dylan wrote a song about the headache that is keeping up with the changing times; this is no different.Some New Developments?So, what has changed with the infographic from 2015 through the tail end of 2021? Referring to the original 2015 document, the differences are basically binder jetting, material jetting, and material extrusion, which have all considerably expanded. Also, material jetting and sheet lamination have swapped colors. I can't tell you how many times I've read a press release from a company claiming to have a “brand new, never-before-seen” method of additive manufacturing, only to consult the Families and determine that the “new method” is, in fact, just something like binder jetting or sheet lamination but flipped upside down. Don't @ me! However, AMT's director of emerging technologies and investments, Dayton Horvath, tells me that there actually are some new AM technologies that may warrant a spot on the poster: “The seven AM process categories defined in ISO/ASTM 52900 remain relevant for categorizing the vast majority of technologies in the industry, but there will always be new approaches that don't neatly fit the definition or spirit of the existing defined categories. The entrepreneurship and innovation driving such new process development is a highlight in the industry and should be celebrated as a sign of growth to come.”What's Next?Obviously, I'll be on the lookout for 7FoAM version 2015-22. In the meantime, I need to find a way to get Jason and Dayton on a call to discuss potentially more additive families! Like I said, until now, I thought everything “new” was really a previously documented, known, proven concept – just wrapped in fresh marketing baloney. We shall see. Oh, to be a fly on the wall in that convo. I'll bring the popcorn!For more information on the 7 Families of Additive Manufacturing, the standard to which all other infographics are judged, visit: https://hybridmanutech.com/resources/.
The greatest infographic in the manufacturing industry – nay, the greatest infographic, full stop, is the 7 Families of Additive Manufacturing graphic, which was, in fact, primarily authored by none other than your boy, Jason Jones of Hybrid Manufacturing Technologies!